Timekeeping and Light Machinery Hall

January 1, 1964 – October 20, 1997

National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, East Wing

See on Map Floor Plan

A variety of historic timekeepers—from sundials to atomic clocks—are displayed in this hall, including sections that trace the development of American clockmaking. Several early examples of sound-recording and reproducing machines are here, too. Some of America's earliest typewriters are exhibited in chronological sequence. Locks, keys, bolts, and other hardware remarkable for their artistry are also on view.

Highlights include:

  • mechanical clocks dating from the 14th century
  • atomic clocks
  • one of Thomas Edison's first phonographs (1877)
  • Emile Berliner's 1888 gramophone
  • the Victor Talking Machine
  • Burt's 1829 typewriter patent model